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Despite Alan Wake 2's Focus On Graphics, A Performance Mode Will Be Available

Frame and glory.


After years of waiting, Alan Wake is finally back this year in a sequel that goes all-in on survival-horror with creepy visuals and an art direction with a grindhouse movie flair to its design. While the game has been built from the ground up with this cinematic frame rate in mind, a Performance mode will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X players looking for a smoother experience, according to Remedy's communications director Robert Puha.

"I'm glad to say that Alan Wake 2 will have a Performance mode on PS5 and Xbox Series X," Puha posted on Twitter. "The game has been built from the beginning as a 30fps experience focusing on visuals and ambiance, but somehow we have managed to include a solid Performance mode. Our Northlight engine scales well in this case though, lower resolution yet the game looks amazing. One of the big challenges from a performance standpoint on the Saga side is that the Pacific Northwest has a lot of foliage, trees, (transparent objects), expensive lighting (that looks amazing) amongst many other features that make it really challenging on the framerate."

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Typically, Quality and Performance modes on consoles offer distinct visual performances with certain compromises. Quality modes usually allow for a game to be rendered at 4K and 30fps--sometimes with ray tracing enabled--while Performance modes juggle a 60fps output with a resolution that dynamically scales according to what's happening on the screen. There are some exceptions to this rule, like the upcoming Marvel's Spider-Man 2 being a prime example.

Developer Insomniac Games recently announced that the Spider-Man sequel has a Performance mode that runs at a targeted 1440p and 60fps with ray tracing on by default. "Our performance mode for this title has ray tracing on by default. We've really expanded ray traced reflections throughout the game. It's on the water and the oceans and really gives a more realistic picture everywhere," Mike Fitzgerald, Director of Core Technology, explained to IGN.

In contrast to that, some games have only been playable in 4K 30fps, like May's Redfall. Developer Arkane did promise a Performance mode for its co-op vampire-hunting game, but that hasn't been made available yet.

Alan Wake 2 launches on October 27--a slight delay of 10 days--for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. For a deep dive into the world of the sequel through GameSpot's exhaustive collection of original features and interviews, check out our Alan Wake 2 hub and our new Alan Wake 2 hands-on preview.

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

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